Her First Mid-Life Crisis
It’s a good excuse to walk in the opposite direction. South is the new North or the map has forced creases. Onto the pill stage. The petals curling on the kitchen counter, the spider plants needing water—everything becomes a symbol. Symbol me this: Her nightly ibuprofen in the form of listening to pine trees creak at four in the morning. His beard stubble in the bathroom. Her resolutions stuffed down the throats of green trash bags.
Hairy Woman Sheds Her Pelt
Her many and long fingers covered With small sharp spines. She has mouths at each tip Little tongues that dart out with chipped Teeth. She eats only the softest of meat. Before the shedding, her pelt is colored brittle. Underneath, eggs in long strings, Shaped like saucers. When they hatch She feels them move within her hair Feels them nibble and nibble near her scalp. At the plumed stage, she is ready. The pelt a bright red. Warning, it says. She is ready, it says. Now the sound of explosives. Now the wind carrying her nettles.
Carol Berg’s poems are forthcoming or in Pebble Lake Review, Fifth Wednesday Journal, qarrtsiluni, Rio Grande Review, Spillway, and elsewhere. Two chapbooks, Ophelia Unraveling (dancing girl press), and Small Portrait and the Woman Holding A Flood In Her Mouth (Binge Press), are forthcoming in 2012. She blogs here.